Sega has announced Sonic Boom, which it describes as "a new branch of the Sonic universe" encompassing a video game, new CG-animated TV series, and a range of toys. The game is launching this year for Wii U and 3DS.
Crucially, the Sonic Boom series also gives the series' characters a makeover. Sonic's got super long legs and now wears a little brown scarf, Amy's pretty much the same as ever, and Tails now sports a nifty little utility belt.
Knuckles, on the other hand, has clearly been working out. A lot. He's also grown about four feet. I wonder if his new physique has been improved by anything that would be banned in sports? Quick, somebody take a urine sample.
Sonic Boom will be the third and final game released exclusively on Nintendo platforms, after the two companies signed a deal last year. The Wii U version of the game is being produced by new developer Big Red Button Entertainment, with Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time developer Sanzaru Games handling the 3DS version.
Sega says the game will feature traditional Sonic elements (speed) alongside exploration, combat, and a tethering mechanic. Sonic Boom, or at least the Wii U version, appears to be designed around 4-player cooperative play.
The television series, which follows on from after the events of the game, will run across 52 episodes of 11 minutes each, and is being co-produced by OuiDO! Productions and Sega of America. The show will air on Cartoon Network in America, and air during the 2014/2015 season.
Finally, Sega has partnered with Tomy to release an onslaught of toys: including plushies, action figures, and remote-controlled vehicles.
We spoke with a Sega producer about Sonic Boom, who said you shouldn't think of it as a Skylanders-style game because the toys don't integrate into the game like they do in Activision's title. What's more, though you'll see the same virtual worlds from the game in the TV show, don't expect the back-and-forth to be as substantial as SyFy's Defiance.
Frost also explained that the 3DS version is not a straight port of the Wii U iteration and that the game overall is similar in structure to Sonic Adventure, in that it'll feature a main hub and missions branching off that.
A trailer for the Wii U version of the game was released, which amazingly includes a chunk of Skrillex's Bangarang.